Room to Grow Challenge

Download the Purple Plow GuideGeneral Challenge Resources

No matter which challenge you are on, a good place to get started is the Purple Plow Guide (pdf) which includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks
  • Purple Plow Design Process
  • Purple Plow Challenge Rubric
  • Supply List and Budget


Room To Grow STEM CHALLENGERoom to Grow Challenge

June 1, 2017 – August 1, 2017

Current Challenge: Room To Grow

The population of the world is increasing, but land available on the Earth is fixed. How can you contribute locally to solutions for these challenges? What type of growing structure could you create? Get a team together and design, build, and utilize a growing structure that can be used in your unique location or situation to help maximize the availability and access to food in this new Purple Plow challenge!


Your prototype must address the following needs:

  • Produce a plant-based food source
  • Maintain an environment that is suitable for plant life for a maximum of 90 days
  • Must maximize production per square footage


Success will be determined by

  • Harvesting an edible food product within 90 days or show progress of plant growth within the timeframe allotted for your specific situation
  • Creating and maintaining an environment that is suitable for plant life
  • Posting a picture or short presentation showcasing the team’s prototype to social media using #PurplePlowChallenge.


Facilitator Guide

Download Facilitator Guide (PDF)

Student Guide

Download Student Guide (PDF)

Helpful Information for Students

Room to Grow Content Packet (PDF)

Student Reflection Sheet – Required for Submission

Download Student Reflection Sheet (Word doc)
Teachers: After teams have completed the challenge, print one form per team. Have students fill out the form on their own. Scan completed forms and attach to your entry using the “Submit Your Entry” button below. Please do not allow any student names on this submission form, however, please assign each team an identifying number (Ex: Sample Middle School, Team #01). Keep track of the numbers you have assigned your teams.

Judging Rubric

Download Rubric (PDF)

Participation Rules

Eligibility: Individuals, groups, and classes in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 are eligible to enter the challenge competition.

What to Submit: For each team, you must submit the following:

  • Completed student reflection sheet.
  • Screenshot or link to student social media post or presentation.
  • Be sure to include #PurplePlowChallenge in your post.

There is no limit to the number of teams you may submit.

Deadline: Challenges will be run seasonally.  For the current challenge, entries must be submitted by the date listed above under the challenge title.  To submit your entry, use the Submit button on the Challenge page.

Prizes: The top 3 entries will win a 3D printer and Visa gift card to help you buy supplies for your next Maker Challenge! Medals will be awarded to all team members.

Important Privacy Information

This experience is designed for kids, but must be submitted by an adult over the age of 13. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents The Purple Plow Challenge from collecting personal information online from children under age 13.

  • Do not include student names, school name or any other personal information in the body of the response questions. Enter school and contact information only in the specific designated areas of the form.

Do your photos need a release? Any photo that shows the face of a student or recognizable characteristics of that student requires an official AFBFA photo release form. (DOWNLOAD HERE).

Here are some tips for taking pictures that Do Not require a photo release:
Take pictures of

  • Student prototypes only
  • Students’ hands working on projects
  • Over-the-shoulder pictures of students working from behind.

Have you completed this challenge?

To officially enter the challenge you must click below to complete the submission form. By submitting your entry, you verify the Challenge was completed by students in grades 5-8 and that all work is original. Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on the submission date.

Submit Your Entry
Let us know you plan to participate!
Click the button at right to tell us about your team.


See what’s being said and share your experience today using the @ThePurplePlow